TVTropes: Robert Stanek - April 10, 2012

Korodzik May 11th, 2012 127 Never
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  1. Robert Stanek is a bestselling author of over a hundred children's and young adult novels. He has won many awards, including ''#1 Fantasy of the Year'', ''#1 Fiction Bestseller'' and ''Top 50 All Time Bestseller'', and his novel ''Keeper Martin's Tale'' spent 26 weeks on Amazon's SciFi Top 50.
  3. Well, that's what he wants you to think.
  5. In reality, Robert Stanek is a [[VanityPublishing self-published author]] of godawfully terrible novels. Normally this would simply result in him fading into obscurity like [[SturgeonsLaw the rest]], but he has attained considerable notoriety due to his main method of marketing his work — [[AstroTurf writing thousands of fake reviews]] on Amazon and similar websites with a ridiculous number of {{Sock Puppet}}s (who also engage in bizarre conversations among themselves on the Amazon forums).
  7. His skill at gaming Amazon to his own advantage is apparently quite profitable for him, as almost all of his books have four stars or more and (by virtue of his army of sockpuppets) are regularly recommended to people purchasing related books. However, any quick analysis of the reviews will show that they consist of two types: ridiculously positive, five-star reviews that praise every aspect of Stanek's writing and all sound strangely similar, and scathing, one-star reviews by readers who were tricked into buying the books by the positive reviews.
  9. Stanek's main series of novels is the ''Ruin Mist'' series, a set of kindergarten-level, incredibly generic HighFantasy novels. Along with being terrible on almost every level, the series also comes in several different versions, [[OneGameForThePriceOfTwo all with only minor differences among them and deceptively marketed as completely different series]].
  11. His main claim to fame is an incident where he appeared in a photo alongside [[{{Redwall}} Brian Jacques]], claiming to have been on a book tour with him. Curiously, Stanek had no legs on the photo. Either Stanek is a master contortionist or a vampire from his waist down, or he simply forgot to photoshop his legs into the picture.
  13. Stanek's personal Web site (which is pretty dull stuff) can be found [[ here]], as well as a massive and utterly bizarre [[ forum]] which quickly becomes either incredibly funny or incredibly sad when you realise that the over 400 members (who have made over 10,000 posts) are all Stanek himself. And there's [[ a whole host of links]] (scroll down a little) detailing his fake reviews and deceptive marketing practices, and sporkings of his novels (along with a lot of other information) can be found [[ here]]. (Temporarily down, so go [[ here]] for now.)
  15. Friendly note: This page was not written by Robert Stanek or any of his sockpuppets. [[SincerityMode We promise.]]
  16. ----
  17. !!Tropes in his works (and life) include:
  19. * AerithAndBob
  20. * AnachronismStew
  21. * AstroTurf
  22. * CantArgueWithElves
  23. * ChosenOne: Vilmos. Played painfully straight.
  24. * CryingWolf: For all his deceptive promotional tactics and general douchebaggery, he really did win the Distinguished Flying Cross during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Given that such a high military honor is generally associated with courage and honor, it makes tragic sense that a lot of people don't believe that he won it.
  25. * EvilOverlord: Santhar the Dark.
  26. * HighFantasy
  27. * InformedAbility: Pretty much all the characters display a lot of this.
  28. * KickTheDog: Defrauding innocent buyers is bad enough, but even worse is the fact that one of his main ways of selling his books is goading public libraries and schools into buying them, under the pretense of them being educational aids.
  29. * [[OneGameForThePriceOfTwo One Book For The Price Of Two]]
  30. * OurElvesAreBetter
  31. * PluckyGirl: Adrina. [[InformedAbility Apparently]].
  32. * PurpleProse: As bad as {{Eye of Argon}}. The first book begins with descriptions of "dark, feral clouds".
  33. * SockPuppet: The vast majority of Stanek's "fanbase" is made up of them.
  34. * TakeOffYourClothes: Between Adrina and Emel.
  35. * UnresolvedSexualTension: Attempted between Adrina and Emel.
  36. * VanityPublishing
  38. [YMMV.RobertStanek]
  40. * BileFascination: Why anyone who hasn't been duped reads it.
  41. * ProtectionFromEditors: The self-published nature of the novels means Stanek has no editor, and it really, REALLY shows.
  42. * WhatAnIdiot: Pretty much all of his actions during the Photoshop incident with Brian Jacques.
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